A year 8 Religious Education study unit covers basic Muslim beliefs and practices but Mrs Karen Wiseman, Philosophy and Ethics teacher at Wyvern felt that students would benefit from an input from "real life Muslims" when they would have an opportunity to ask questions about the Islamic faith.
As part of a move to promote Interfaith Activity and Community Cohesion Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo from the Al Mahdi Centre in Fareham spent a lesson talking on the theme of 'What does it mean to be a Muslim?' to a class of Year 8 students. The Imam Spoke about the rituals and the beliefs of following the way of Allah and explained that so many of the rules of Islam were intended to enhance an individual's place in a community whilst also seeing God in everything. The Imam also spoke about the five pillars of Islam and how they relate to everyday life, making following the Koran part of the daily routine.
The students asked questions at the end of the session, and the details of Ramadan (a month of fasting) were of particular interest to them, especially since Ramadan will occur in August this year when the nights are very short, beginning at 9 pm and ending just before 3 am.
Mrs Wiseman says, 'This was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about a religion first hand from such a compelling speaker. The students were full of questions for the Imam and at the end of the session their knowledge and understanding had clearly made a very positive impression on them.'